Yes. Both are highly contagious and can be a serious concern in boarding kennels.
Infectious Tracheobronchitis (better known as “Kennel Cough”) is an infection of the “windpipe” or trachea and bronchial tubes. While the most common bacterium causing kennel cough is Bordetella bronchiseptica, several viruses and bacteria can cause the disease. The most common symptoms of kennel cough are a persistent cough, decreased appetite and depressed behavior.
Canine Influenza virus, (also known as “Canine Flu”) causes a respiratory infection in dogs. Canine Influenza is a relatively new virus, so almost all dogs are susceptible to infection when they are newly exposed. The most common symptoms are lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, nasal discharge and a dry cough.
The best way to prevent infection is vaccination. Our doctors recommend vaccination against both Kennel Cough and Canine Influenza for dogs that visit groomers, dog parks, day care facilities or boarding facilities. Both vaccines are required for all dogs boarding at Newport Animal Hospital. As prevention is key, all pets must receive their initial vaccines for these diseases at least 3 to 5 days prior to admittance. If this will be the first time your pet is receiving either vaccination, a booster will be required 3 weeks later.
While these vaccines significantly reduce instance of infection, they do not eliminate it completely. The “kennel cough” vaccine is approximately 85% effective and the “canine flu” vaccine is about 90% effective. Like the human flu shot, both vaccines greatly reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of illness in pets that do become infected.
Just as with children in a daycare setting, close proximity to other potential carriers can increase the risk of infection to your dog. Rest assured that our staff will take every possible precaution to prevent your pet from contracting any illness while in our care, but difficulty in prevention can arise since some pets carrying disease or harboring bacteria may not show any signs of illness whatsoever.